Hertha outcast Hajime Hosogai joins VfB Stuttgart

The experienced defensive midfielder joins Jos Luhukay for a third time after a year on loan in Turkey.

Hertha outcast Hajime Hosogai joins VfB Stuttgart
Image source: VfB Stuttgart

VfB Stuttgart have made Hajime Hosogai their sixth signing of the summer as they prepare for life in the 2. Bundesliga.

The versatile Japanese international leaves Hertha BSC after three years for a reported fee of €700,000, having spent the last season on loan in Turkey at Bursaspor.

The 30-year-old has signed a two-year deal with the club, reuniting with former Hertha coach Jos Luhukay, and will take the number seven shirt.

Little chance to impress

Hosogai has spent most of the last five-and-a-half years in Germany. He joined Bayer 04 Leverkusen in January 2011, but was immediately loaned out to Luhukay’s FC Augsburg, helping them into the Bundesliga for the first time before staying on for their first top flight campaign.

On his return to the Werkself, he struggled to tie down a place, making just 17 appearances in the only full season he spent with the side. Luhukay signed him permanently for Hertha in the summer of 2013, and he quickly established himself in his preferred position of defensive midfield.

Hosogai will join up with Luhukay for the third time at Stuttgart. | Photo: Kicker
Hosogai will join up with Luhukay for the third time at Stuttgart. | Photo: Kicker

However he quickly fell out of favour when Pál Dárdai arrived as interim manager in February 2015, going from regular starter to making just three substitute appearances for the Hungarian. Last August he made his way to Bursaspor, making 20 appearances, mostly in defence.

Extremely valuable and a team player

Sporting director Jan Schindelmeiser is delighted to sign the man with 28 international caps for Japan, saying that he “fits very well with our profile.”

“He is comfortable in all defensive positions,” he added. “In addition his outstanding personality and his experience make him extremely valuable for us. We are looking forward to having a real team player.”

Hosogai himself is looking forward to help the club secure an immediate return to the Bundesliga. “I would like to help in achieving the goals of the club,” he said. “I’m looking forward to meeting my new teammates and of course the fans as well.”

With the likes of Jean Zimmer, Anto Grgic and Simon Terodde also joining the club, they look to be the team to beat in the 2. Bundesliga this season.

Quotes via VfB Stuttgart